Monday, October 3, 2011

You (Probably) Can't Go Home Again

  .... I've had a few

Yesterday I took out a pen and paper, refamiliarized myself with the usage of them in 2012,  and wrote down the following which I offer to you in the hope that it may be helpful:
 

Most of the things we regret from the past are best left alone. Not only can't you go home again, you can't even re-visit the tri-state area.  You blew it.  Move on. 

In any given lifetime, there are always things we remember that we wish to forget.  The problem is that in my given lifetime there are so many things I wish to forget I can't even remember them all in order to forget them! 

These are the things that represent water flowing under our collective bridges, all of it contaminated and probably carcinogenic ....

The Road Not Taken
The Road Taken that Led to Somewhere in North Dakota
The One that Got Away
The One that Should Have Got Away
The Song You Never Sung
The Song You Sung that ABBA Later Made Big Money With


Not long ago I went so far as to copy down a list of names of everyone in my past with whom I'd had some interaction I was either embarassed about, angry at myself regarding, or had lost more than seven pounds over during a three week period. My purpose was to revisit each person and rectify as best as possible the resulting carnage, psychic or otherwise, that had ensued from my perceived less than stellar behavior.

When I ran out of paper, I began writing on the walls. When I'd pretty much filled all the walls, I rented an apartment. When I'd pretty much filled those walls and realized I was going to lose my entire Security Deposit, I began looking at industrial space.


I grouped the rectifying acts I would undertake into the following categories:

1) General Apology
2) Specifc Tailored Apology, a la "I'm Sorry I Didn't Stand Up to That Mean Little Four-Year Old who was Kicking You In the Shins, but I Think He Had a Gun."
3) Groveling Before
4) Buying a Bunch of Shit For
5) Donating Organs to, Later
6) Donating Organs to, Now

The other day as I regarded the list in its latest incarnation at the recently vacated Del Florio's tiling warehouse off I-95, I selected one name and one situation for my first official rectification.

It was an item that fell in the "Specific Tailored Apology" category involving a woman I had looked up on Facebook whom I felt fairly certain did not feel sufficiently aggrieved to have gone to the trouble to visit Haiti in search of tutelage on indigenous rituals to cause my eye-balls to forceably eject from their sockets. 

A good place to start.

"Hello, Sharon?" I said, voice resolute but somewhat quavering, if I may use that word without knowing what it means. 

"Yes, who is this?" said Sharon in a friendly voice I kind of remembered. 

"Perry Block.  Many years ago, we went out for, I dunno, five-six  months."

"Yes, sounds very familiar..., " she replied pleasantly.

"I wanted to apologize to you because with no explanation whatsover I just stopped calling you.  Basically I didn't have the guts to tell you I found the snorting impression you did of Arnold Horshack from Welcome Back, Kotter! kind of annoying and ...."

"Now I remember you, Asshole!  Don't ever call again!!!"

KLUNNKKK!!!!!
After a few minutes of quavering (if I may use that word without yet having looked it up),  I took out a piece of paper and a pen and wrote the sentence I first offered you above.  And bought some white paint for a whole lot of walls.


There are no mulligans.

There are few things about the past you can fix, even if you can operate power tools.  You can't go home again, so don't even  bother trying to book a flight on Expedia or priceline.com. 

Direct via US Airways, well, maybe  ....


Actually, the best we can all do is learn and move on.  

It's a pity that so many of us tend to often be such slow learners.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 

6 comments:

Lexi said...

Funny, once I'd tracked down the people I've had unsatisfactory interactions with in my past, my list would be quite different. My rectifying acts are more like this:

1) Pithy put-down I somehow missed saying
2) Sharp kick to tender part of anatomy
3) Demand for return of my money/book/time
4) Free analysis of personality flaws
5) Suggestions, not all physically possible

I'm warming to this idea of yours.

Alan Davidson said...

Advise to live by (and obsess over) Perry. Thanks for sharing.

The main thing I gleaned from that...don't bother calling any old girlfriends.

K.D. McCrite said...

Perry, you have put a whole new slant on guilt, especially with new categories and, quite possibly, subcategories.

Good golly, now I have to relive my life all over again, and frankly, I don't want to.

Dadgum it, Perry!!

Perry Block said...

Lexi,
The morale of the story was supposed to be that you can't go back and fix the errors of the past, but looking at your list of rectifying acts, YOU GO, LEXI!

And please, report back when you're done...

Perry Block said...

Alan,
Well not necessarily. The main thing to glean from it may be don't bother calling any of my old girlfriends.

Advice to obsess over? What isn't to obsess over?

Perry Block said...

kd,
Yes, I know a thing or two about guilt.Just look the word up in the dictionary and see whose picture is there.

You certainly do not have to live your life over. I would, however, at least consider going back and living over the day when you first started saying "dadgum it!"